Eco Council

 
 
Welcome to Eco Council!
 
 
Our Eco-award was launched last half-term for the classes that have been keeping an eye on their usage of lighting, water, smart boards and single-use bottles. We have been impressed with how each year group is being ‘eco’ conscious and striving to win the award each week! Keep it up everyone!
 

As Eco-councillors we are always looking for new ways to look after our school and the outside areas. We have been tasked this half term by Mrs Smith to take a look at the ‘Forest Schools’ area, as there seems to be an awful lot of litter being blown in the wind through the fence from our adjacent school. As a group we will put together a plan to tackle this area and then assign eco-councillors an area to be responsible for.

Stay tuned for more Eco-news…..

 

Waste Management Visit from Warwickshire
 
On Monday 17th October, all pupils took part in an assembly to support our eco aims.  EYFS and KS1's assembly helped children make wiser choices about single-use plastic and Ruth recommended reusable alternatives to try instead.  We were astonished at the effort, energy and waste involved in producing a plastic spoon which may be used and discarded after 2 seconds of use. 
 
Sidney questioned 'Why were they even invented?' which just shows our future generations are questioning mistakes made in the past.
Our KS2 pupils enjoyed an assembly about composting and how to start and create our own. Who knew there were so many fascinating creatures and micro organisms living in compost?  Ruth has kindly offered to donate to us 2 large composters which should be producing our own compost in as little as 12-18 months.
Finally, Ruth worked with our keen Eco Councillors to create our very own recycled planters out of newspaper.  We planted some seeds and they will plant these directly into the ground come Springtime. 
With the support of Mr Jackson, our club members have tidied, weeded, hoed and planted lots of areas of our school so Birchwood is looking much fresher for autumn and will look fabulous in Spring. 
​During Autumn 1, our Eco Councillors extended their club to include any other keen gardeners. We had over 50 children apply to join and we’ve had so much fun!  Children have harvested fruit from our orchard, which Year 6 have used for making crumble (there may have been a trade offer involved!)   We’ve made minibeast habitats (with the first resident arriving within minutes) and created posters for our recycling bins. 
During 2022 and onwards our aim is to reduce our energy consumption within school and our councillors undertake daily classroom checks to ensure that we are turning off unused lights and smart boards for example. The most ‘eco-friendly’ class wins an award during Celebration Assembly. 
We have also introduced a weekly ‘Go Green’ message to be read alongside our assembly ‘Thought of the Week’ which spreads key messages to support our aims and to help at home too. 
Birchwood’s new Eco Council have got off to a flying start. We have a very eager bunch of children who are committed to improving our Carbon Footprint.  
 
Our elected Eco Councillors for 2022-2023 are:
 
Y1 - Oliver and Wade
Y2 - Arthur and Adrian
Y3 - Henry and Thomas
Y4 - Thomas and Jasmine
Y5 - Neave and Elsie
Y6 - Mia, Tayla, Darcy and Paige.
 
Special mentions this half term must go to Isaac, Vinny and Romee-Lea who have been especially supportive of the younger council members, so thank you!
The Jubilee Garden was officially unveiled yesterday and our first tea parties were held on the lawn. We look forward to many more in future but can remember this once in a lifetime celebration all year round, for many years to come .

This week has been Walk to School Week and it has been lovely to see how many children (and their adults and siblings) have walked to school or parked a little further away to walk. Not only is this safer for our children, but it is healthier and helps our environment and finances too.

We have lots planned for the Summer Term in Eco Council. On Tuesday, our School and Eco Councillors will have our annual farm trip for the first time in 2 years. (Head over to our News tab to see the photos we took.)

We also have lots of planting to do and a Farmers Market to plan. If you are interested in a hiring a stall please contact our school office.

We will also be most grateful for any donations of seeds and bulbs that we could use in our boxes and kitchen garden.

The Eco Councillors of 2021-22 have been very busy this Autumn Term.
 
They’ve made great strides in helping to improve the recycling in school by helping to empty our new paper recycling bins and they are working to support each class in improving their carbon footprint by checking and turning off lights and taps during lunch times.
 
During the after school Eco Club, some members helped harvest fruit from the orchard and veg from the kitchen gardens. 
 
Another exciting activity was taking part in Now Press Play’s ‘Recycling’ experience; children were transported into a dystopian future brought on by climate change and plastics use. Making us think more about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
 
They have lots more ideas to help improve the school and are a keen group that will no doubt make a great impact! 
 
Eco Club have had a busy start to the year with both the harvesting and cooking of the pears grown at school.  This week they created spiced pear jam to sell at the Christmas Fair and next week they will be making chilli apple chutney - Delicious!
 
 
'Jar appeal'
 
It's that time of year again when Birchwood Eco club harvest and use the apples and pears to make jams and chutneys for the Christmas fair.  We are asking for glass jar donations to support this enterprise.  If these could be sent into school before the October half term, we would be very grateful.  We are ideally looking for smaller jars of 350ml or less. Thank you for your continued support.
 
 
One of Eco club's first jobs this year was to harvest the carrots, potatoes, onions, marrow, beetroot, cucumbers and broad beans that were ready to harvest.  They then used these ingredients to make a healthy and tasty stew to take home and enjoy with their family.  The Eco councillors helped to wash, peel and chop the ingredients before they were combined with stock and beef in a slow cooker.  Well done Eco club.
 
 
Several children from last year's Eco club travelled across to Hill Top farm near Leamington Spa, to collect their Bronze Food For Life award.  They were presented with their certificate and got a special mention for being the only school in the country to have all their staff trained by the FFL team in cooking skills.  The children picked out some of their most memorable moments to share with other school: the pigeons eating all the cabbages and handing out the tomatoes, lettuce and other salad crops to children across the school at break times.  They were treated to lunch and had the opportunity to take part in activities such as making bird feeders and wellington boot planters for strawberries, creating fruit skewers and exploring the farm.  We are now trying to improve our growing and cooking efforts across the school in order to achieve the Silver standard award.
 
 

Eco club and class councillors went to Southfields Farm on Friday to learn about the farming process.  The children explored different soil types, ground their own flour, hunted for wildlife in meadows, woodlands and ponds, fed the animals and travelled around on a tractor trailer to see the different methods of growing crops.  They were enthusiastic and a credit to the school.  Well done!

 

'My favourite activity was collecting the wild flowers on our journey sticks,' Elsie.

 

'I really enjoyed using the nets to hunt for insects,' Bobby.

 

'The donkeys were my favourite animal,' Lily.

 

  
Team Birchwood have kindly donated some bug homes which we have put up around the woodland area.  With the support of our wonderful grandparent volunteers, we are busily growing crops for our Farmers' Market on Friday July 6th.
 
 
Calling all local producers!
 
Birchwood Primary School is holding a Farmers’ Market on Friday 6th July 2018. We are looking for fantastic food, crafty creations and the people that make them to get involved to bring it to life. If you grow your own food or flowers, bake your own cakes, knit your own jumpers, or anything in between, we want to hear from you.  Each year group are having their own stalls, Smith’s butchers has signed up and we are looking for other community conscious individuals to help make our first ever farmers market a success.
 
If you’re interested in taking part in this super, summery school special, please contact Mrs Webb via the school office.
 
Thank you,
 
Faith and Mia - Pine Class

 

 
Eco Club has moved to after school this half term and the children have started in earnest by weeding and preparing the kitchen garden.  They tended to beans and strawberries that were already present and planted lettuce, carrots, radishes, rhubarb and tomatoes that they are hoping to sell at the school's first ever Farmers Market next half term.  If anyone has any fruit or vegetable plants that they would like to donate, please send them into school to Mrs Webb or Mrs Davis.
 
 The Eco Council and Science Council will be involved in planning a Farmers Market, with a focus on growing our own produce.
 
Eco Councillors took part in an exciting cookery afternoon where they prepared a set of recipes chosen by Warwickshire Educaterers.  Recipes, and photos of the children preparing them, will be published in a booklet that will go out to all schools in the county.